Robert Friedman

Holland & Knight LLP
Manufacturing Division Meeting : Industrial Base Funding Priorities

Robert A. Friedman is an experienced international trade lawyer in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office. A former official with the U.S. Department of State, Mr. Friedman helps clients address a range of complex legal, regulatory and policy issues that involve international trade and investment, government regulation of cross-border transactions and compliance with U.S. laws based on foreign policy and national security. He advises businesses, entrepreneurs, investors and trade associations on matters related to economic sanctions, export controls, foreign direct investment, supply chain security, customs laws, data privacy and cybersecurity, market access, anti-corruption and national security regulations.

Mr. Friedman leverages his experience as a legal counselor and senior policy advisor to top executive branch officials to deliver practical and strategic results for clients facing a range of challenges that often entail domestic and international dimensions. His clients range from startups to Fortune 50 companies and span diverse industries, including defense, aerospace, telecommunications, finance, private equity, semiconductors, infrastructure, technology and manufacturing. He has significant experience serving as regulatory counsel in connection with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and has obtained national security-related regulatory approvals for foreign investments from interests around the world.

Foreign Investment, National Security and Cross-Border Transactions: Mr. Friedman regularly represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) in proceedings related to the mitigation of foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) under national industrial security regulations. He works with service providers and infrastructure owners in negotiating security agreements with the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector agencies – including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) – regarding Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-regulated businesses.

Economic Sanctions, Export Controls and Trade Compliance: Mr. Friedman counsels companies regarding compliance with a broad range of cross-border legal and regulatory matters – including U.S. and multilateral economic sanctions, export controls such as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and foreign military sales issues – and represents them before the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and DOD to obtain licenses necessary to consummate investment, financial and export transactions.

Supply Chain Security, Trade Policy, Market Access, Customs and Tariffs: Mr. Friedman advises businesses on all aspects of supply chain security, including vendor and supplier due diligence, risk mitigation and requirements for government contracting. He also represents companies before the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and foreign governments in matters related to market access disputes, trade negotiations, import tariffs, and customs laws and regulations.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Friedman was an attorney at a leading technology and telecommunications law firm in Washington, D.C. Before entering private practice, he was a legal adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where he participated in high-stakes bilateral and multilateral negotiations in more than 20 countries across five continents and handled diverse legal issues related to treaty negotiation and interpretation, U.S. and multilateral economic sanctions, trade controls, weapons of mass destruction, outer space and cybersecurity. Mr. Friedman was the lead State Department attorney in negotiations with the Cuban government on reestablishing diplomatic relations. He served as a key legal adviser on several international arms control and nonproliferation treaties, including developing the legal architecture to address the threats posed by chemical weapons in Syria. In addition, Mr. Friedman was a senior policy advisor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations managing participation in the White House-led interagency policymaking process on issues related to China, Russia, North Korea, Europe, cybersecurity, nonproliferation and arms control.

Mr. Friedman previously served as a nonresident Fellow at the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law, a law clerk on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Sen. Patrick Leahy and an aide to then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Friedman is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service's Center for Security Studies.